Sunday, October 21, 2012

Everyone Read This Article+Ranting By Me

Hello everyone! I have decided to bring back my blog as a tribute to Kris Perovic and his incredible article about the current state of the game: He states in this article that it is the duty of the community to help each other out instead of holding out on information for your own benefit, while also providing a suggestion to create our own sort of to do coverage for events, and then the game will be saved as we know it. While I think that he brings up some valid points, I would like to address some points that he did not. The worst (imo) problems with the game are with overpowered themes being consistently released along with fairly terrible formats. I mean in 2006 could any of us have imagined a deck like Inzektors? Wind-Ups? Or would you have imagined that BLS-EotB would ever come off the list (I even lost a bet due to this card being unbanned)? The thing about this is that it isn't just the evolutionary process of the game, it is more like the degeneration of the game.

Yu-Gi-Oh! generally used to be accepted as a game that required skill to win. To get out of jams and execute plays perfectly. To make great reads and be rewarded for it. But something that Frazier Smith said to me at Long Beach (he probably doesn't remember) was that themes were ruining this game. We aren't in a game where we can actually deckbuild for certain events and accurately predict the meta to use techs, we are in a game of themes. Techs can't even work anymore due to the sheer amount of decks that even exist. Now anyone can just drop 3 Xyzs, set 3 backrows and still have cards left over and dominate. The game punishes you for drawing the wrong hand and rewards you for drawing the better hand, not for skill. I would even argue that there's practically no skill at all. Themes don't promote skill, they promote being able to draw your pieces before your opponent and beating them because of that. That's not skill, that is luck, something I hoped would never become a central factor in the game, but here we are.

I can't even fathom about the formats that have been produced since the last "good" format (TeleDAD as most people would say). I mean who wants to play in formats where a deck like Lightsworn or Chaos Dragons dominate? Or a format where someone can open Rescue Rabbit against you going first and increase their chances of winning tenfold? This would normally just lead back to Konami being really dumb and creating dumb cards, but it is also their inability to hit these cards before hand. When creating formats, it is very clear they don't test these formats and find all the real problems with what will go on in the format and it is also very clear that they don't care. Take for example Lightsworn/Zombie format for September 2009. Lightsworn was legal for almost 2 years, and because it wasn't a "problem" in TeleDAD or Synchro-Cat formats (although it was still widely used), they decided not to touch the deck at all while nerfing every other deck. What does that give you? A shitty format revolved around milling better than your opponent.

However these 2 points bring me to my support of Kris Perovic and his call to action. These 2 points are something completely out of our control and something we will never be able to control. It is rather unfortunate that we cannot do so and that Konami just tries to just make money at the expense of those who have loved the game for so long, but that is the way things are. However what we can do is try to make the experience better for the whole community. Konami has completely disregarded us and has practically disregarded competitive play from their goals (as shown through our declining prize support and new OP themes being released every set), so only we can really help ourselves. So I beg you all to read Perovic's article and think about it for a while, because he kept it real and provided some great insight and hopefully we can try and churn something out like what he has envisioned.

NOTE: I agree and disagree with his points about ARG as well but I'd rather not post about it because it is a completely different subject than the point I am trying to get across. ARG is a cool site with great players doing decent articles, but I do believe he is right about the articles being half-assed, but I also think these artciles seem so shoddy because of the fact that it is practically impossible to explore higher levels in this game anymore so I can't fault the writers.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Nationals 2011: Adjusting your deck for the field.

There is something I posted on duelistgroundz about plants and what I feel players need to do to be successful at Nationals. One thing is being able to make sacrificial deck choices and adjust your deck to the expected field. From the looks of it, Junk and Debris will easily be the most popular deck of the event, with decks like Water Synchro, Samurai, and X-Sabers taking 2nd and decks like Stun, GK, and Agents making up a small amount of the field. While these expectations is not based on how good the decks are (GK is a very strong contender for my deck choice still), it should be reasonable based on the online communities focus on creating unbeatable Plant builds and other decks that counter said Plant builds.

One thing you will have to do to win this tournament is adjust your main deck to enhance your matchups. While I cannot stress enough the importance of your side in such a diverse meta, you will have to let certain side choices leak into your main as well. One card that exemplifies this concept is Maxx "C". While pre-librarian Maxx "C" could only be sided because it wasn't as powerful as it is post. Being able to freeze your opponent for a turn or draw 14 cards in the plant mirror is incredible. Or being able to draw 5+ cards vs Sabers/Six Sams/Water Synchro is perfect as well or you just freeze them and win next turn. It is almost completely dead vs GK and Stun and Agent decks so that's where risk vs reward comes in. If you'll notice those 3 decks it's dead against will be the least likely for you to play against multiple times in a tournament, maybe 10-15% of your 12 round tournament. So if we can assume Maxx "C" will always produce a win when resolved successfully vs those matchups listed earlier (that it's good against) then the reward is FAR greater than the risk (in which games 2 and 3 exist for you to hopefully win). It's an overlap card vs expected matchups and is compatible with the deck itself (being a Junk and Debris target).

So while preparing your deck to be very combo oriented may provide you with a high success rate over the course of games played, you have to realize that others will become more and more adjusted to playing a purely combo oriented deck. Cards like Effect Veiler and Maxx "C" exist to help hinder combo decks and if you fall too far behind with the time and only focus on making your own combos and not preventing theirs, you will be on the bad end in a lot of mirrors so much of the time.

Good luck dueling~

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Preparing for Nationals 2011

There is not a single event in Yu-Gi-Oh! that I prepare for more than Nationals. Last year I tested Infernities for nearly 2 months straight before bringing the best build possible to Nationals. However I can cannot say the same for this year. This format is going to change drastically with the addition of TGHL and there is no definite best archetype in my eyes. Let's look at several important factors about the North American WCQ that will factor anybody's decision making.

1) Canadians will be there.

I think this is bigger than most people give it credit for. The Canadians are incredible at Yu-Gi-Oh! The Bellido brothers, Matt Peddle, James Neumann, and other various Canadian professionals will be attending and they will add a whole dynamic to the whole flow of the event. The field will increase by a very large margin and this new addition will be very concentrated with some of the game's best.

2) What the metagame will be like.

Now in one of my previous posts I discussed the different ways of figuring out a meta in an event. Nationals is something way different because of the fact it's essentially a melting pot consisting of every meta in North America. So how do we figure out the meta? The Internet is now our only reliable pool of information, and make sure to abuse it. Tour Guide of the Underworld, Water Synchro, etc are all decks and card choices that spawned in North America and several European countries through the online community.

3) What deck will be the most consistent.

The thing about this format that I think will play a huge role is playing decks you are comfortable with. While you can easily try and pick up JunkDoppelPlants and expect to do well with it, I will guarantee you without at least 2-3 weeks of testing it you won't be comfortable with it or be able to play it to its fullest potential. So while you can think a certain deck is the best deck, it may not be the best deck for you. This is a format where anything can win so exploiting a skill edge you may have with a deck like Gravekeepers may end up giving you more wins than you expect. In the end the luckiest and the best will be left standing with such a tough field so all you can do is know your deck well and play it to its best.

These 3 factors are the 3 main things I'm focusing on while preparing for the event. DuelingNetwork has been nice for testing and I currently have 3 decks in the works. I think the events meta will be solidified right before the event starts and by then I will have chosen what I think is the best deck.

Good luck dueling~

Friday, June 10, 2011

First day of summer...and a nice little rant about the plights of this game.

Yes! School is finally out and I just had my first sleep-in of the summer. Hopefully with this new found time I will be able to post more frequently about Yugioh shit.

One thing I would like to step out and talk about is this game in regards to thievery, cheating, collusion, or any sort of illegal activity in the Yugioh real or in reality. This game is plagued by these various issues and have become sort of a staple in competitive Yugioh. They are a product of the ever flowing secondary market of Yugioh and the constant growth of the number of people attending each event. You see that often people are complaining about what things are wrong with the game such as card design, shitty RnD by Konami, retarded rarities, etc, but I feel like the real plights of this game lie with the obvious deception of numerous players that occur in tournaments every day.

It's devastating to lose anything you may own in this game. I myself haven't had anything stolen since a TeleDAD deck was taken from me at a local I had attended for over 2 years. I thought I could trust the people there but I guess I was wrong. But the feeling that you get when you get something you worked so hard to gain and have it just ripped from you is gut wrenching. I know when I couldn't find the deck, I was on the verge of flipping a table. But to anyone who experiences this, I feel your pain. A lot of people would just say "maybe you should have taken better care of your stuff!" But what they don't realize is the fact that people are getting craftier and craftier every day. There are just times where it is beyond your control. There are people in this game that practice stealing cards in the stealthiest ways possible. I have learned from my mistakes and haven't had anything stolen since that TeleDAD deck. Just remember to always be weary of people around you. You can trust practically no one in this game, and if you leave your deck out for maybe 30 seconds at a Regional, it won't be there when you get back.

Cheating, it happens in every game in the world. There's a reason to every action we make in this game, it is often to win, to lock out our opponents, to become the best and win everything. It's called game theory. One thing we also have to factor in is the fact that maybe our opponents may be intentionally breaking the rules to use for their own advantage. Obviously cheating is wrong, but so what? People will keep on doing that. Yugioh is a game that has stepped far past moral inhibitions and people are too dumb to see it occur right in their faces. Everyone cheats or has cheated in their career, no one can deny this. When I played actively in 2007 before I quit, I soft cheated like crazy just for some shitty store credit at a local. When I returned in 2008, the amount of cheating I saw befuddled me. I swore to never cheat and to only better myself through playing and that's it. It sucks that no one else can take that pact. There are numerous rumors on the internet spreading accusations of people stacking, angle shooting, calculator stacking, what the fuck ever but everyone has to realize, everybody cheats. Any given opponent you can play against can and will cheat against you. It doesn't matter if they're 8 or 40, there are examples of both I could list within that area of people that have tried to cheat me. The best thing you can ever do is just be weary of cheating and never take your eyes off of your opponent and deck. To prevent soft cheating just always be up to date on a lot of the rulings on your cards. Don't be afraid to call judges or make appeals to the head judge. Most importantly, if you think someone is cheating against you, have the balls to say something about it. Call a judge, call your friend over, call a head judge, do whatever to make sure this guy never does it again to anyone else.

So while I can easily blame Konami's shitty tournament structure and their card design as flaws in this game, the worst part about it is the amount of cheating and stealing in the game. I would allow Konami to put Judgment Dragon at 10 if all of the cheating and stealing in this game would stop. If this is meant to be a childrens' card game, then why must everyone, children included, feel the evil of others when they get their decks stolen? You can blame it on being naive, but you can't blame a girl for being raped.

Good luck dueling~